Go Community! The new TYPO3 Association

During the last General Assembly, the Board and Steering Committee of the TYPO3 Association decided on a few important changes to the bylaws. These changes give more power to the supporting members of the Association, remove conflicts of interest regarding the deciders and receivers of the budget and, most importantly, move the strategic decisions to the community.

Although the goals, to provide more transparency, democracy and integrity, were easy to agree upon, personally I had to get used to effectively leaving the association I co-founded. Years ago when Kasper, Julle and I first talked about the idea to found a TYPO3 company or foundation, the primary goal was to create a body which raises funds for long term and important development tasks which could not easily be found in daily projects or by one-time sponsorships. Fast forward, in 2011 the TYPO3 Association does what we originally planned it to do, but it also stands for much more which we originally did not intend.

Running an association always comes with a lot of politics, opinions and eventually envy and striving for power. If there's an "official" body for the TYPO3 project, it is, for some, very attractive to get there. You could have the impression that being part of the TYPO3 Association means having the power to decide on the TYPO3 project. But there's very little truth to that. In reality, most decisions affecting TYPO3 were taken by the community. It was just the case that some of those who had a say in the community were also member of the Steering Committee or Board (which is also natural, because we tried to build up a group of people who act in the interest of the TYPO3 community). The problem with that is that those who are not part of the Steering Committee might feel excluded and speculate about conspiracies going on behind the scenes.

Probably due to our lack of experience with a FOSS association, we communicated wrongly in the beginning. We wrote news like "The TYPO3 Association released a new version of TYPO3" or "The T3A organizes the T3CON". That was plainly wrong – it always have been people and companies from the TYPO3 community who did all the hard work. When we realized this communication mismatch, we started emphasizing the important role of the community members. Now, the decisions we took for the refactoring of the TYPO3 Association set forth this ambition in the most consequent way: We effectively move the Steering Committee to the community.

You'll want to read Daniel's article giving some more information on the so called "Perestroika Project". What you can expect during the next months and starting in 2012 when the new bylaws take effect is that we've set up a structure in the TYPO3 Association which takes care of the finances and trademark in a responsible and transparent way and a new team, positioned in the community, discussing and taking decisions on the strategy for the TYPO3 project.

I'm really looking forward to these exciting times and feel that we have taken the right decision.

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